Shades Of The Sun
Words by: Eeden La Grange
Within a diamond, there an enigmatic sense of desire that has seduced admirers for millennia. Born with an intense and vibrant beauty deep within the earth, yellow diamonds are perhaps the most alluring, radiating a light from within akin to the ferocity and brilliance of the sun.
The House of Graff has handled a myriad of magnificent yellow diamonds. In 1974, Laurence Graff acquired the Star of Bombay, a 47.39-carat yellow stone that marked the beginning of Graff ’s yellow diamond collection.
Transforming a diamond from its rough form into a scintillating masterpiece require nerves of steel, since it is a natural substance. In 2009, a perfectly formed octahedral yellow diamond rough, weighing 221.81 carats was unearthed at an alluvial mine in South Africa. Its spectacular nature upon discovery was just a promise of the magnificent jewel it was to become. When Laurence Graff saw the stone he was astounded. He had never seen a rough diamond of such size, colour and quality take this form. After many months of meticulous cutting and polishing the stone yielded the largest Fancy Vivid Yellow square emerald cut diamond in the world, at 118.08 carats.
This diamond’s evocative yellow tones reminded Laurence Graff of Africa, particularly, the sunrise at Delaire Graff Estate. As the Simonsberg mountains give way to the ascending sun, revealing rays one after the other, the Banghoek Valley becomes reacquainted with the sun’s glowing warmth. The crisp night air slowly fades as a new day awakens the mountain slopes, illuminating everything in its path. Inspired by this memory of the African sun, Graff unveiled the new diamond as the Delaire Sunrise.
Delaire Graff Estate’s winery named their inaugural Loire-style sparkling wine to commemorate the magnificent stone. The Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut MCC is resplendent in its soft yellow hue, a zesty crémant of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc grapes. The wine is a remarkable addition to the Delaire Graff wine portfolio and honours the Sunrise through an intricate label embossed with the facets of the diamond.
When Laurence Graff saw the stone he was astounded. he had never seen a rough diamond of such size, colour and quality take this form. the stone yielded the largest fancy vivid yellow square emerald cut diamond in the world, at 118.08 carats
Where the Delaire Sunrise evokes memories of the striking Stellenbosch dawn, the Golden Empress diamond is reminiscent of the sunset. As the sun’s diffused rays embrace the twilight, colouring the sky a burnt yellow, cloudy shadows contrast the airy highlights in a similar fashion to the facets of the Empress. Its incandescent core seduces the eye and encourages a longer gaze into the stone’s golden depths.
Quintessentially imperial, the 132.55-carat Fancy Intense Yellow diamond is a splendid sight. Discovered in the Letseng Mine of Lesotho, the 299-carat rough diamond embodied complexities which served for a fascinating cutting and polishing process. The Golden Empress’ cushion cut was chosen after meticulous consideration and once complete, the diamond could not have been more exceptional. The rough stone yielded a further eight satellite diamonds, comprising six pear-shaped Fancy Yellow stones, the largest being 21.34 carats, as well as two brilliant round diamonds. It has been said that the Golden Empress exudes a colour like no other, resembling that of honey. The resulting effect is one of opulent magnetism and transparent beauty.
Graff ’s ethereal yet earthly diamonds exude an incredible presence. A yellow diamond is emblematic of commitment and love, prosperity and joy. These staggeringly scarce and emotive jewels emit an energy that narrates the story of their origin, deep inside the earth’s core. They encompass a warmth that is infectious, and an iridescence that will last forever.